Thursday, October 21, 2010

Is Keynote "Good Enough Technology" for Digital Signage Content Creation?

When I originally read and posted about Good Enough Technology, I was thinking about all of the software solutions available for digital signage and how some of the inexpensive ones are "good enough". After all, you have to learn to walk before you can run, so why not learn to walk with an inexpensive digital signage solution that you can get your arms around, before you start to run and risk the possibility of falling on your face? For example, if less than $1,000 could get you a countertop digital sign complete with LCD, stand, day part playback media player, professionally designed content, and pay for itself in less than 3 months (see earlier post), that would at least be "good enough", no?

But what about Good Enough Technology for digital sgnage content creation (the reason for my post in the first place)? I have been thinking a lot lately about the content creation part of the digital signage equation, especially for merchandising and increaseing same store sales. We all know that without appropriate content programming updates, a digital signage install is not likely to succeed. However keeping all your content/messaging fresh and relevant on an hourly, daily, weekly, or even a monthly or quarterly basis can be time consuming and expensive. So is there a content creation application for digital signage for the rest of us that is good enough? I think the answer is yes, and I am going to find out by trying Keynote to see if in fact it is good enough. At first glance you might think Keynote is just Apple’s answer to PowerPoint, but it is already being used as an entry-level video application to produce some very good narrative videos. It exports to QuickTime (.mov) format and you can set timings and apply builds and motion to objects and type which should be adequate for digital signage content. Clearly applications like Flash, Final Cut Pro and others are much more powerful, but I’m interested in something that is good enough, inexpensive and easy to learn. In the next couple of weeks I’m going to find out and will be posting updates and let you know how I am doing.